At least, as far as Fox News is concerned. Here’s their headline: Mysterious bones may belong to John the Baptist
There’s no way to be sure, of course, as there are no confirmed pieces of John the Baptist to compare to the fragments of bone. But the sarcophagus holding the bones was found near a second box bearing the name of St. John and his feast date (also called a holy day) of June 24. Now, new radiocarbon dating of the collagen in one of the bones pegs its age to the early first century, consistent with the New Testament and Jewish histories of John the Baptist’s life.
What if the box was just owned or built by the dead guy and some family member thought it’d be nice to put it in with him? Isn’t that a more likely scenario than claiming we “just happened” to find John the Baptist? What a miracle! I’m thinking not.
“We got some dates that are very interesting indeed,” study researcher Thomas Higham of the University of Oxford told LiveScience. “They suggest that the human bone is all from the same person, it’s from a male, and it has a very high likelihood of an origin in the Near East,” or Middle East where John the Baptist would have lived.
Him, and how many thousands of other people?
Historical research by Oxford professor Georges Kazan suggests that relics supposedly from John the Baptist were on the move out of Jerusalem by the fourth century. Many of these artifacts were shuttled through the ancient city of Constantinople and may well have been gifted to the Sveti Ivan monastery from there.
None of this proves that the bones belonged to a historical figure named John the Baptist, but researchers haven’t been able to rule out the possibility, Higham said. Their study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, but a program detailing the research will be aired on the United Kingdom National Geographic Channel on Sunday (June 17). National Geographic funded the research.
So this is not Fox’s fault? I thought National Geographic put more emphasis on facts over sensationalism but maybe I’ve been living under a rock or something. I’m already aware that The History Channel offers up Pawn Stars and American Pickers. And it looks like the Learning Channel long since gave up on teaching people anything useful. Toddlers and Tiaras? Say Yes to the Dress? 19 Kids and Counting? Give me a break. And I see NatGeo offers up its own share of WTF TV, too. It’s all a ratings game, I guess.